Welsh Assessment of Serological Proficiency Scheme
WASPS is an independent scheme which operates under the direction of a Steering Committee established in 1992. It is located within the Welsh Blood Service (WBS). The scheme is indebted to the WBS for the help and support it continues to give to WASPS.
The scheme was developed originally to meet three main aims:
- To establish a quantitative basis for assessing Anti-Globulin Technique (AGT) performance.
- To provide sufficient material to allow all laboratory staff, including on-call staff who may not work routinely in a blood transfusion laboratory, to participate in each exercise.
- To produce a concise report summarising key areas of performance which would allow those responsible for the service to assess the performance of the laboratory and their staff.
The scheme is based on a simulated compatibility testing in which 4 sera are tested against 3 cell samples. It is designed to be performed by individual members of staff using manual tube or column agglutination methods. Although the scheme has seen a move by participants away from the traditional tube LISS test towards the newer technologies of bead and gel centrifugation, the aims of the scheme remain the same. The scheme has taken the information provided from comparisons of the technologies and utilised it to assist participants in establishing “best practice”.
CPA accreditation was achieved in March 2003 and was maintained until 2016 when the standards were withdrawn, the scheme was commended by the CPA inspectors as follows:-
“This is an excellent scheme developed primarily for transfusion laboratories. It has the advantage of being able to assess individual practice, which is unusual. The documentation is excellent and well controlled and the key people running the scheme are enthusiastic & dedicated“.
The scheme is currently working towards compliance with the UKAS ISO17043 standard for proficiency testing schemes.